Now, a mentor-on-road to approach 6,000 startups in India

Virendra Pandit Ahmedabad | Updated on January 23, 2018 Published on April 28, 2015

A month after he trained many Pakistanis at Karachi on how to engage in global business, leading trade and management consultant Jagat Shah is all set to wheel down to 27 cities across India from next week to empower nearly 6,000 MSMEs, budding entrepreneurs and startups and encourage them to contribute to the “Make in India” drive.

After completion of this journey, Shah will submit a report to the Prime Minister on the challenges faced by rural enterprises, MSMEs and startups.

Shah, a confidante of Narendra Modi, had organised the China visit in November 2011 for the then Gujarat Chief Minister and was also the part of Modi’s team to prepare for the latter’s high-profile US visit in 2015.

Starting his mentor-on-road ‘business yatra’, along with his family, on May 3 in Ahmedabad, Shah will criss-cross 18 states, covering 9,400 kms in 65 days and return here on July 7. “I have also converted my SUV into a mobile office, equipped with all with the necessary gadgets for instant communication,” he told BusinessLine here on Tuesday. The PM’s “Swachchata Abhiyan” will also be a focus, he said.

The objective of this drive is to create an eco system to connect industry with academia and make the graduates employable and job-ready, at a time when only 15% of engineering graduates in India are actually employable. “In this eco system, mentor is the most important factor. This strategy is expected to create several successful startups.”

In different cities, he will also be joined by nearly 40 “foreign friends” who would help the beneficiaries with their domain knowledge, experience and contacts. Besides, he would be joined by technical partners at various places for providing “true” mentoring, access to international markets and linkages.

For this marathon business-catalysing journey, Shah has tied up with the Gujarati Samaj officials across India, apart from engineering, commerce and management teaching institutions to gather young enthusiasts raring to turn entrepreneurs. “I will also encourage the Gujarati businessmen in making productive use of their CSR-related activities.”

He said he would encourage the youngsters not to be job-seekers but be job-creators.

Mentor-on-Road is a concept envisaged by Shah, Founder and Chief Mentor of Cluster Pulse, an economic development agency, and Global Network, an international trade advisory firm. The project is aimed at supporting rural enterprises, SMEs, startups and young professionals who seek guidance and networking support for their business, talent and ideas. A local mentor from each city will join Shah for two days and will be trained for a year. Mentors will connect companies to global value chains and supply chains in India.

These mentors would also offer solutions to companies in areas of finance, marketing, production, HR, IPR, innovations etc through Shah’s partner networks including those in technology, banking, hospitality, GPS, mileage, logistics, digital and insurance. The GPS system installed in Shah’s SUV vehicle will track its movement from one city to another and he will be touch with others through social media and other communication networks.

“We also have mentors from four countries - Manitoba (Canada), Germany, USA and China - who will support the trips between geographic segments.

He said in each location on the route, interactions will take place with 50 to 200 local industries, associations and institutions. District collectors in each of the 27 locations will inaugurate the event.

Shah runs two companies and is also the Foreign Representative of the Government of Manotoba (Canada) in India for trade and investment for the past seven years.

Published on April 28, 2015
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